Every time the Red Sox seem to be on the verge of collapse, they somehow, some way pull off some big wins to keep from falling impossibly far behind a playoff spot – they are currently 5.5 games behind Tampa Bay for the AL Wild Card. With a ton of games coming up, more regulars coming back from injuries, and very little time off, it was crucial that Boston get hot again.
An Unlikely But Clean Sweep In Anaheim
When word came Monday that newly acquired Angels ace Dan Haren would make his first start against the Red Sox, a collective “Uh oh!” could be heard around Red Sox Nation. Then, for once, the Sox caught a break. Haren got injured by a Kevin Youkilis line drive in the fifth and left the game, which Boston won 6-3 behind Clay Buchholz, who went seven strong innings, allowed one run, and punched out seven Angels en route to his 11th win. David Ortiz hadn’t hit more than one homer in the second half until this night, when he hit two bombs, numbers 20 and 21, and drove in three runs overall.
Another welcome sight Monday night was the return of starting catcher Victor Martinez (from a broken left thumb). He had an RBI single this night, which was a revelation, since the collective output of Gustavo Molina, Dusty Brown, and Kevin Cash never homered, drove in a run, or hit an extra base hit in 65 total at-bats for the Sox this year.
If you thought infielder Jed Lowrie’s 2010 debut last Wednesday, June 21, in which he reached base three times, was unexpected, you weren’t the only one. Much like Daniel Nava this year in the absence of Jacoby Ellsbury in the outfield (and who was sent down to Pawtucket to create this roster spot), Lowrie was a godsend a couple of years ago when filling in for an ailing Mike Lowell at third base. But injuries and, recently, mono sidelined his career. That is, until now. On Tuesday in Anaheim, his double over the head of Angels left fielder Juan Rivera to drive in two runs was the big hit in the game, which Boston won 4-2.